I will admit that demand will drive price somewhat, but there has to be a point at which demand levels off but price keeps going. In fact, I'm sure of it.
It is my opinion that price gouging is occurring at every step of the production of gasoline and dino-diesel. Those selling crude jack the prices up because they know everyone will be driving more in the summer months. They make more profit.
Those who do the refining, jack up their prices to cover the extra cost of crude, and then a little bit more to get a bigger profit.
Those selling the fuel to us jack up the price to do the same.
We pay it because we have no other options (unless we drive diesels and use bio-diesel or vo), really. Certainly some of us are getting mega mileage out fo their cars and motorcycles, but whether you use 1 gallon of gas in 100 miles or 4, you still have to pay for that gas.
As of May 18th, US average gasoline price was about $2.31/gallon ($2.23/gallon for dino-diesel). One year ago, the price was about $3.79/gallon ($4.50/gallon for dino-diesel). Crude prices as of May 15th were $56.52/barrel, down from $126.50 a year ago. The ratio one gets if he compares current gas prices to current crude prices is .041 versus .03 for last year. Where crude prices don't neccessarily always reflect pump price, and there's much more involved than what I discuss here, it seems to me that some sort of gouging is most certainly happening. The ratios tell me that gas prices right now should be about $1.69... a price I certainly haven't seen in months.
Again, there's a whole lot going on with gas prices that I don't know about and would likely never understand. I'm simply using numbers I have found at http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/twip/twip.asp# to support my own personal conspiracy theory.
Tell me what you will, I'm convinced we're being taken.
Of course we're being taken. All the more reason not to enrich the bastids. I'm bicycling EVERYWHERE. I fill my little car less than once a month. My cents/mile are very low; my dollars on gas/whatever period you want are very low too. Gas could go past $10/gal before I spend per mile what today's typical SUV driving doof spends! Can hardly wait for $4 gas again and I suspect it won't be long...
Old EPA 23/33/27
New EPA 21/30/24
i don't trust this present (US) executive and legislative gov't to handle this issue w/out major enviro nut influence. i believe the govt is more "evil" than the oil companies(excluding OPEC). however, we are consuming too much, too quickly.
in an ideal world, environmentalists AND economists would sit down w/ congress to reach some sense of a realistic approach as it relates to nature and industry.
there must be a balance that does not encourage over consumption, yet keeps the wheels rolling, literally. we have our own oil, natural, gas, coal, and nuclear capability. this doesn't even touch on electric, propane, or hydrogen. and better designs, like R.I.D.E.'s concept, are paramount.
but, for now, we canNOT punish the poor and middle class w/ high energy costs. the rich WILL be affected eventually, but by then, the economy will certainly be much like that of the great depression.
The amount of oil we use on a daily basis is already going down. Why all this talk about people not wanting to down size? They did, last year, and now that gas is cheap they enjoy the savings even more.
A lot of people didn't even travel this last weekend that normally do. Everyone was afraid of a gasoline price spike that never happened because demand didn't increase. It hasn't increased to what it was before the spike, so much so that middle-eastern oil companies are saying they want to shut down wells so supply isn't out-running demand like it is now making oil so 'cheap'. I agree that the price of fuel will go up, but it won't be because demand spikes.
Your math on what fuel should be costing us with oil at its current price isn't correct. It's a flat rate of government taxes that is ever increasing. In 2008 New Mexico federal and state combined tax was 36.4cpg (18cpg state with a federal(true in all states) of 18.4cpg). Within the next year we'll see the bill pass congress that puts a minimum 29.9cpg state tax on fuel.